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The Sexiest Innovations From CES 2022

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CES 2022 was one of the sexiest in-person events in recent memory. We’ve seen some truly groundbreaking new technology and a real glimpse into the kind of future we could have. And that’s pretty sexy. Of all the innovations to emerge from CES 2022, here are our favorites.

Sexy Wi-Fi-Eating TV Remotes

Batteries are non-biodegradable toxic waste. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a new means of energy? Like, the sun? 

Samsung introduced the SolarCell TV Remote. It charges from the sun and from radio waves generated from devices like Wi-Fi routers. This technology is currently limited to charging low-power devices like remotes. But it could be used to power tablets and smartphones in the future.

Sexy Chameleon Cars

The BMW iX Flow looks like something out of a big-budget sci-fi movie. The technology is similar to ebook tech. The iX Flow is concept-only at this stage but is intended to be more than just cosmetic. The idea is to change according to the weather – light color in hot, dark color in cold – so as to cut down on the cooling and heating energy required inside the vehicle. 

Sexy Service Robots

We’ve all seen the creepy hyper-lifelike humanoid robot from CES 2022. But there have been more practical robotic innovations that don’t seem like a step towards a robot-themed apocalypse. 

Bear Robotics Servi could very well replace human servers. But will it also have to take the sommelier test? 

The Labrador Systems Retriever bot could make a big impact on the healthcare side of things. The Retriever can carry around 25lbs and has two shelves that can move up and down as needed. This type of robot is great for people with medical-related immobility issues. 

Sexy Beauty Tech

Thanks to CES 2022, we’re stepping into the future sexier than ever before. The Sound Mirror from Icon.AI looks like an ordinary mirror. Except it conceals a voice-activated smart speaker that can play music, let you check the weather, set alarms, or control other smart devices. 

L’Oreal revealed an at-home hair dye device. It is not known whether it is “no tears” compatible or not.

Ninu introduced a “smart perfume.” Really. They claim they have created a product capable of personalizing fragrance when connected to an app. 100 different fragrances depending on the mood, weather, or whatever the occasion may be. 

Y-Brush, which first debuted at CES 2017, returned a little updated for CES 2022. The unusual, jaw-shaped electric toothbrush claims to brush your teeth in just ten seconds. Except now it has an easier-to-hold handle and more modes like teeth-whitening and gum care. 

Sexy First Look at the Metaverse

With COVID still ruining everyone’s lives, some companies and firms chose to appear entirely virtual or a physical/digital hybrid. 

Samsung offered a metaverse booth. Proctor and Gamble teamed up with London’s Royal Botanic Gardens where users could wander the virtual grounds and learn about sustainability, fresh ingredients, and all that crap. 

SK Group offered a 360-degree video presentation that merged the physical and the digital in its Green Forest Pavilion. In the experience, the South Korean company showcased its plans for global carbon reduction. 

CES 2022 was certainly the sexiest CES in a long time. We can’t wait for next year!

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Technology

Why Wikipedia No Longer Accepts Cryptocurrency Donations

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screenshot of wikimedia foundation

On Sunday, May 1, Wikipedia Foundation announced that it wouldn’t be accepting any more cryptocurrency donations. After a three-month deliberation and a request from the Wiki community, the Foundation, which owns and operates Wikipedia, made the final decision. Wikipedia no longer accepts cryptocurrency donations.

In the update, the decision to stop accepting crypto donations was based on the recent feedback gathered from its volunteers and donor communities. The Foundation began taking crypto in 2014 after much prodding from the same communities.

In the announcement, the Foundation also stated that it would be closing its account with Bitpay. This is the crypto payment service that it used to accept donations. 

Crypto Skepticism

Wikipedia editor Molly White tweeted her delight at the decision. She said, “I’m really proud of my community for taking a principled stand.” The crypto skeptic added, “It can be difficult when there’s money on the line,” saying that this is a concern commonly seen in the crypto space. She considers the decision refreshing and that both the community and Foundation see it the same way.

White also operates Web3 is Going Great, a website that tracks online scams and hacks in the cryptocurrency world. She was the first to report Wikipedia’s announcement about its decision to no longer accept these donations. 

As mentioned earlier, the non-profit organization began accepting crypto in 2014. They openly received donations in the form of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and USDC, among many others. 

At that time, Bitcoin was priced at $300 for a single coin nearing the end of the year. However, in a matter of years, its value skyrocketed. This has placed it in the public eye and has become famous over the years. Its price saw a lot of ups and downs, which also increased its volatility.

The article in Web3 is Going Great says that cryptocurrencies only accounted for a small percentage of the organization’s overall donations last year. This may be the main reason that Wikipedia no longer accepts cryptocurrency. To sum it up, only 0.08% of its revenue, or a little over $130,000 worth of crypto, was the number of donations it received in the last fiscal year.

The Formal Request

You can find the proposal and the crypto critics’ case concerning this on the Wikipedia discussion page. Most of these requests from critics argued that the non-profit organization should no longer accept crypto. It’s because of environmental issues resulting in their creation. One of the most popular arguments backing the decision is that Wikipedia can be seen as legitimizing and outwardly promoting a system that can be considered predatory.

White also added that they felt a “strong push from crypto advocates to brigade the discussion”. She finds it ironic that the crypto ethos involves self-governance and individual agencies. In contrast, members of the crypto community who aren’t part of the Wikipedia community try to force the subject on them. She wants to remind these people to remember that listening to community feedback is a part of self-governance. Even if there is no profit or good PR to be received.

Not Closing Doors

On the other hand, the Wikipedia Foundation, which supports the online encyclopedia, admitted to continuing to monitor the situation. It is possible that the organization will keep its doors open for accepting cryptocurrency donations anew. 

Although currently, crypto believers are rapidly increasing in numbers, there is still a significant fraction of non-believers or skeptics. But for now, these unbelievers and doubters and much of the Wiki community remain victorious.

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Technology

Hibernation in Space: Possible or Purely Fiction?

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astronaut in an orange suit

Space hibernation – it’s an idea many creative minds have pondered for a long time. In fact, some science fiction movies have shown sleeping humans going for a ride in space. The theory is this: when people are put into sleeping chambers, they can survive the long travel to a different land. In movies, actors would wake up on another planet where humans can live on.

But is it really possible? As interesting as the theory sounds, fiction is far from reality.

For one, sending humans to space is still considered a logistical nightmare. For that alone, space hibernation can be a thing of fiction. And because of new research, it is likely that it will remain that way.

Why space hibernation?

Sending astronauts to space is one of the human race’s most outstanding achievements. Working around the lack of gravity in space has been a grueling task for researchers. Apart from daily needs such as food, astronauts’ physical and mental well-being in space is hard to maintain. 

That’s why up until now, sending people beyond the Moon is still largely unsolved.

One of the solutions to bypass the issues with this is space hibernation. When put into a sleep-like state called torpor, humans can lower their metabolism and sleep while waiting to complete their journey.

The concept has intrigued scientists so much that researchers from the European Space Agency conducted a feasibility study. Their findings? Some scientific hurdles make space hibernation out of reach for humans. 

Can we put humans to sleep in space?

Induced hibernation is something sci-fi geeks are familiar with. But details on how to go about it often remain unclear. Thankfully, Roberto F. Nespolo and Carlos Mejias have found new data on the possibility of humans saving energy while sleeping.

The two examined the relationship between body mass and the amount of energy used by animals hibernate. Their research found a minimum level of metabolism that enables cells to continue living in low-oxygen environments. 

Small animals like ground squirrels and bats have an easier time conserving their energy. Critters like these burn more than 25 percent of their body weight during their sleeping period. However, the math doesn’t work the same for humans and even bears.

Using statistical analysis, the two were able to find that the daily energy expenditure of hibernating animals is more or less the same, regardless of their tissue mass. 

However, they found a point where hibernation does not make a huge difference in saving energy for more active and bigger mammals. In fact, they said that our total energy needs while hibernating aren’t all that different from when we are resting. 

According to their research, when the calculations are scaled to bigger mammals, hibernating does not save much energy. The two scientists revealed that our energy levels would be the same as when we were resting.

Bottom line

Astronaut hibernation is a concept that scientists have been looking into for years. But unless we figure out how to store more body fat and replenish energy reserves in our body, space hibernation will not happen just yet. Either we pack so much weight into our bodies, or we would routinely need to wake up and consume food to build up fat. 

If the goal is to survive a long slumber, the concept seems impossible. After all, dropping our heart rate and breathing while manipulating our metabolism might not give us the result we are looking for. Like bears, there is no guarantee that humans can achieve an actual torpor state.

For now, at least, we would have to keep our eyes open for other options.

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Startup Central

How Volar Alta automates inspections and logistic support through drones

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niharika kolte

Startups are darlings when it comes to marrying social impact with technology. And the best part is that young people are leading this amazing movement. The newest startup making waves in the industry is Volar Alta, which provides drone support for companies across various fields. 

In order to save time, energy, and manpower, the company is offering drones as tools to speed up quality checks. They also want to make drone delivery a reality in the future.

How did Volar Alta get its start? 

drone

Like many startup founders, Niharika Kolte did not start out dreaming of being an entrepreneur. In fact, she began her career as an analyst working at PWC and KPMG. During her stint, she began to think of more efficient ways to conduct inspections and do technical due diligence. According to Kolte, this is usually the most prolonged phase of a deal for a banker or analyst. 

She believes that this is because of the old-school way of conducting technical inspections. Most companies test their assets using a random sampling test. But this is a time-consuming and not wholly accurate method. That said, Kolte found the need to have a more efficient way – one that offers both time efficiency and accuracy.

This inspired Kolte to provide a drone-based solution for businesses. With Volar Alta, she hopes to create a more cost-effective way to conduct operations. Apart from this, their drones also lessen downtime and boost security. 

More work done for less time 

Drones, she found out, can reduce the time it takes to do asset inspections. Using a drone to make inspections means that it can be used across various industries. This includes agriculture, real estate, entertainment, energy, and more.

Drone-based inspections can also reduce climate impacts. Kolte said that their drones are compact and can conduct inspections on a large scale without many carbon emissions.

She explains that her solution can help some companies conduct internal inspections on their equipment, such as silos and cyclones. In this case, companies usually deploy people to find visual defects. This method means that cement plants have to be shut down and halted production. 

Kolte said that for 64 cyclones, it would take six days to erect scaffolding to reach the top and another 11 days to identify the problem. Other days would also be allotted to fix the defect.

Using drones, however, drastically cuts down the time it takes to get a visual of the cyclones. According to Kolte, Volar Alta finished inspecting 64 cyclones in three days. The company ended up saving eight days of shutdown time.

Apart from that, it can also potentially save lives. Drones can easily detect workers who live in close quarters, and a drone can even serve as first responders in a disaster event.

What’s next for Volar Alta?

Since the pandemic started, Volar Alta has made a massive pivot to security. They began using their product as a surveillance tool for quarantine zones in India. But today, Volar Alta focuses its business on internal asset inspections and drone-based logistics. 

Besides reducing the time for inspections, the startup’s goal is to become an Uber for drones. Volar Alta is looking to have their drones deliver four items while in the air. And while the company also does not make drones in-house yet, they have their tech prepared. They have already created an intelligent custom storage payload to get multiple deliveries done in a single flight. 

Volar Alta’s groundbreaking tech has received three grants from IIM, Nidhi Prayas Scheme, and The UK FCDO. Kolte reports that the company has grown ten times since it started.

In the future, Kolte hopes that drones in business can reach the mainstream.

And for other tech and startup stories, read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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